Elderly Woman Dies Under Rubble in Forced Demolition in China’s Jiangxi
RADIO FREE ASIA
Hu Xianglan, who was in her eighties, was trapped in the rubble as bulldozers moved in on her family home near Jiangxi’s Wuzhou city, according to photos and eyewitness accounts. By the time her body was retrieved from the rubble, it was unrecognizable, a local resident told RFA. According to a source, all of the houses in the neighborhood had been demolished without the agreement of residents in what local officials said was a “village improvement” project.
China to Try Political Refugee Forcibly Repatriated by Thailand for Subversion
RADIO FREE ASIA
Authorities in the central Chinese province of Henan are preparing to try an activist on subversion charges after he was forcibly repatriated by Thailand despite having been granted political refugee status by the United Nations. Activists Dong Guangping and Jiang Yefei were handed back to Chinese authorities in November 2015, in a move that drew strong criticism from the UN High Commission for Refugees and human rights groups. They have since been held in a detention center in the southwestern city of Chongqing, while their families have been resettled in Canada.
North Koreans Overcome Border Guards in Bold Escape to China
RADIO FREE ASIA
Seven North Koreans from three families overpowered border guards and seized their weapons in a dramatic escape across the Tumen River to China on April 15, multiple sources inside the North told RFA’s Korean Service. The defectors were from a small village in Musan County, North Hamgyong Province near the Chinese border and their escape took place as North Korea was marking the 105th birthday of the late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung amid heightened security for the national holiday. “On April 15, the late Kim Il Sung’s birthday, three family units of Musan County beat the border guards and defected. As this incident happened during the special security week, the Border Guard and law enforcement agencies were put on high alert,” one source in North Hamgyong Province told RFA on April 18.
North Korea “Ready to Sink” US Aircraft Carrier Vinson
North Korea is “ready to sink” a US aircraft carrier heading for the peninsula, state media have said. A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned that the USS Carl Vinson could be sunk “with a single strike.” Sunday’s commentary in Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party, followed a feature on leader Kim Jong-un’s inspection of a pig farm. “Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” the commentary read, saying that the attack on what it called a “gross animal” would be “an actual example to show our military’s force.” State newspaper Minju Joson echoed this, warning the army would “deal merciless destructive blows at the enemies so that they would not come back to life again.”
US Citizen Arrested in North Korea
Johnathan Cheng, WALL STREET JOURNAL
North Korea has arrested a US citizen in Pyongyang, according to people familiar with the matter, adding another potential flash point with the US at a time of increasingly heated rhetoric. The arrested man, a Korean-American professor named Tony Kim, had been teaching at a university in Pyongyang set up by a Korean-American Christian businessman, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Kim is the third known US citizen to be detained by North Korea in recent months. Pyongyang last year sentenced Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, and Kim Dong-chul, a Korean-American businessman, to terms of 15 years and 10 years of hard labor, respectively.
American Monitor in Ukraine Dies in Explosion
Joe Sterling and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
An American paramedic attached to a monitoring patrol in volatile eastern Ukraine was killed in an explosion on Sunday, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said. The US citizen was part of a patrol of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. It is the first time an SMM patrol member has been killed while on duty, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said. The group has not released the victim’s identity. Two other monitors were injured in the incident, when their vehicle was heavily damaged by an explosion in the Luhansk region, near Pryshyb.
Armed Civilian Bands in Venezuela Prop Up Unpopular President
Patricia Torres and Nicholas Casey, THE NEW YORK TIMES
The bikers thundered up in a phalanx of red jackets and dark clothes, some with faces covered, revving motorcycles before a thousand protesters in Caracas. They threw tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. Then, witnesses say, they pulled pistols and fired. Someone fell. Carlos Moreno, 17, lay sprawled on the ground, a pool of blood around his head. The uniformed men who shot Mr. Moreno were not government security forces, witnesses say. Rather, they were members of armed bands who have become key enforcers for President Nicolás Maduro as he attempts to crush a growing protest movement against his rule. The groups originated as pro-government community organizations that have long been a part of the landscape of leftist Venezuelan politics.
Venezuela Opposition Holds Silent March to Honor Dead
Thousands of Venezuelans dressed in white marched in silence to remember those killed in three weeks of protests against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. In Caracas, some protestors were initially blocked from reaching the office of the Roman Catholic archdiocese but then let through. Marches to Episcopal offices took place in cities across the country. The opposition blamed the police and militias for the deaths of 20 people.